On Sunday, while interviewing 2012 NFL draft prospect and East Carolina quarterback Dominique Davis, I asked him why scouts should come to his pro day, which will be held at East Carolina University on March 22, the same day as the pro days of the top two quarterbacks in the draft class, Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. (On Monday, Baylor announced the date of it pro day was changed to March 21.)
“Because I feel like I have the biggest upside in the draft,” Davis boldly said.
One important asset for NFL success that Davis clearly does not lack is confidence. “I feel like I can be one of the best, not only quarterbacks, but best NFL players," he said.
While Davis may be exaggerating his upside, he does have NFL potential. Davis is 6’3’’, a very good athlete and has a strong arm. The combination of those traits makes him a player worth taking a look at, and he should be impressive in many of the drills at his pro day.
That said, Davis’s collegiate career has been far from ideal. He started out at Boston College and was the starting quarterback for the final four games of his redshirt freshman season. However, Davis was suspended for academic reasons prior to the following seasons and transferred to Fort Scott Community College. After spending a season there, Davis transferred back to the FBS level and played two seasons at East Carolina.
Leading up to the draft, Davis is almost certain to face questions about these trials and tribulations that shaped his collegiate career. Davis said he learned from the experience, realizing that “you have to be mature about the situations and do things the right way, and good things happen to good people when you’re doing good things. That’s what’s been happening to me—ever since that experience, I started doing the right things, started being a good person, and good things happened.”
Davis made his mark with the Pirates over two seasons, but he failed to be consistent. He threw for 3,955 yards and 37 touchdowns in his junior season, but his numbers dropped off in his senior season, throwing for only 3,225 yards and 25 touchdowns, while also throwing 19 interceptions (he threw 17 interceptions as a junior). Davis has the arm to make big downfield throws, but his downfield accuracy and decision-making are inconsistent.
“My talent is very raw,” Davis admitted.
That said, he is confident that if an NFL team drafts him, it will be making a terrific decision. “If there is a team that wants to develop me and mold me into a great quarterback—I feel like if there’s a team that is willing to do that, it’s not only going to make me look good, it’s going to make that coach look great,” Davis said.
Davis was not among the 326 players invited to this year’s NFL scouting combine. “Of course I feel like I should have gotten an invite, but there is nothing I can do about it now, and I just use that as motivation to just work hard and make sure the guys who didn’t invite me look down the road and feel like they made a mistake,” Davis said.
Davis did accept an invitation to participate in the Players All-Star Classic earlier this month. He said of his week in Little Rock, Ark.: “The experience was great. I was just there trying to take advantage of my opportunity and show the scouts what I can do. I got better every day during the practice week and it showed in the game.”
Davis is now focused on preparing for his upcoming pro day. Davis explained his preparation, saying “I have been working hard every day and throwing the ball and lifting and getting stronger and faster, to try to wow these scouts come my pro day.”
Asked if he could play for any team, Davis said it was a “great question”, and contemplated the question for awhile, but said that “it really wouldn’t matter what team, I would play on any team that’s out there.”
Whether Davis is selected in the 2012 NFL draft or signed as an undrafted free agent, one of the 32 NFL teams will be bringing in a confident individual who has set the bar high for himself with his expectations. He seems to have also learned valuable lessons and made a significant character transformation since his freshman year at Boston College.
Thanks for reading!
This is the second of five articles featuring exclusive interviews with NFL draft prospects that I conducted last weekend. Keep checking back all week for more!